The Importance of Socialization in Seniors
No matter what age you are, socialization is important. It gives a sense of belonging and acceptance, and boosts our quality of life, including our physical and mental health. Vibrant social connections are increasingly critical as we get older and our social circles narrow. When seniors retire from their jobs, lose friends and spouses to death and illness, or see family members move out of the area — their daily social contacts and stimulation can change. This has a direct impact on their well-being. How to combat social isolation? By cultivating positive sources of social support, seniors ward off the effects of lack of socializing. They reduce their risk of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as some physical health concerns.
The Importance of Socialization for Seniors
Staying socially connected stimulates the brain. It takes an active mind to carry on a conversation, play cards, or just about anything else a senior might want to do. The benefits of socializing also include slowing down memory loss. A Harvard study showed that seniors who were more socially integrated with their life partner, children and neighbors had significantly slower rates of memory loss. A study of the importance of social interaction for seniors by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center found that the rate of cognitive decline was 70 percent less in people with frequent social contact than those with low social activity.
The Best Kinds of Social Support for Older Adults
Many seniors socialize by spending time in group exercise classes — which can provide a number of physical benefits, including the potential to increase lifespan. Exercise also lessens the risk of a variety of chronic health problems like osteoporosis or diabetes.
When we think about how to combat social isolation, volunteering is top of the list. Volunteerism is another way that seniors can stay engaged with their community and to continue to make positive contributions. The health benefits of volunteerism are well documented, including the finding that it may help you live longer. But what’s most powerful about volunteering is that it builds a sense of purpose in life. With purpose comes less stress, reduced risk of depression and greater satisfaction with life.
Seniors who opt for community living such as Sagewood find sources of positive social support built into their daily lives. There’s a focus on encouraging healthy behaviors such as exercise, proper nutrition and seeking out health screenings. Residents can easily walk to a neighbor’s home for a visit and take part in clubs and committees and other activities where they can meet new people.
What Activities Can Community Living Offer?
At Sagewood, we believe in the importance of social interaction for seniors. We provide a wealth of opportunities and no pressure to take part unless you want to. The community’s monthly calendar includes exercise classes such as weight-training, yoga and aquacise, music and cultural events, arts and crafts, outings to local attractions, current affairs discussions and movie screenings. These robust activities for seniors include a volunteer committee that works hard all year round to benefit the needy. Residents frequently remark on how much they benefit by having people around to support and engage them. By taking care of each other, they have found that they take of themselves too.
Staying Social at Sagewood
Social wellness takes on more importance in these times of physical distancing. At Sagewood, residents are never far from friendship, fun and meaningful social interaction. They showed their appreciation for the hardworking Acacia Health Center staff during National Skilled Nursing Care week at a Hawaiian-themed party and a ‘Casino Day’. Residents also took part in socially distanced Bingo, safely interacting with neighbors and scoring prizes. Lighthearted moments abound — check out this sweet video celebrating residents’ dogs and the dog days of summer. View more of the social opportunities we offer at Sagewood by following us on Facebook, and keep up to date with all the creative events and activities!